Skiing refers to a variety of sports that are participated in using skis in order to travel over snow covered surfaces. Skiing can be divided into two distinct groups, the oldest form originating from Scandinavian parts of the world, using so called free heel bindings, which leave the heel free from the skis by attaching the boots at the toes. Examples of this type of skiing as a sport would be cross country skiing and ski jumping. The other type, which is referred to as Alpine skiing came from the Alps mountain area, and attaches the boot on both sides; toes and heel.
The origins of skiing date as far back as the pre-historic era and was invented by Nordic people, as a means to travel and hunt. The earliest evidence can be found in regions of Norway and Sweden, where carvings portraying a person on skis are found dating back to approximately 5000 B.C.
Sondre Norheim, of Norway, is regarded to be the re-inventor of skiing as a sport or means of recreation. Norheim comes from the Telemark area of Morgedal, which is regarded to be the birthplace of skiing. Norheim is responsible for inventing all designs involved in skiing the way we know it today. Along with Nordheim's designs, woodcarvers from the region introduced smaller and less heavy skis in 1850. Through making use of Norheim's bindings system, called "Osier" bindings, the shoe is strapped tight to the ski, yet leaving enough flexibility for fast maneuvers and turns. This has laid the foundation for all types of skiing the way the sports are played today.
Skiing in Spain
Skiing used to be a very popular sport in Spain, however, economical issues caused developments for the sport to stagnate. Recently the economical climate in Spain has improved much, and in turn the popularity of skiing as a sport is once again on the rise. Over the last years the Spanish skiing sites have been brought up to par with current standards, and Spain has gradually turned into the most southern skiing destination of Europe. Of all sports activities, skiing is the one that is enjoyed most by the Royal family of Spain.
Sierra Nevada means Snowy Range in the Spanish language and is the name of a range of mountains in the Andalusian area of Spain. It is the highest point of the country at 11,411 feet.
The area is a popular holiday destination, for its flexibility. The heights make skiing possible, while the sunny climate makes it possible to enjoy sunbathing and other activities at lower altitudes. Sierra Nevada is located near the cities Málaga and Almería, and the mountain range start at the city of Granada.
With the possibility of skiing, Sierra Nevada is the most southern skiing resort in the whole of Europe. The mountain range has been partly integrated into the Sierra Nevada National Park, which has officially been recognized as a biosphere reserve. On the Northern parts of the range, at a height of 2.8 km the Sierra Nevada Observatory was built.